The University of South Florida System maintains a comprehensive Emergency Notification System (ENS), called AlertUSF, for the purpose of issuing immediate notification to keep the USF community informed and safe during an emergency situation. There are many components of the system that provide redundant layers of notification to ensure the widest possible distribution of the message, and these system components are regularly tested to ensure proper functionality.
Upon the report of a dangerous or emergency situation, campus officials will confirm the existence of the threat. These situations may include, but are not limited to: law enforcement issues; hazardous material release; and hazardous weather affecting a USF System campus. As soon as USF System officials have confirmed that a significant emergency or dangerous situation exists, USF officials will take into account the safety of the campus community; determine what information to release about the situation; and begin the notification process. The University may not immediately issue a notification for a confirmed emergency or dangerous situation if doing so would compromise efforts to assist a victim; contain the emergency; respond to the emergency; or otherwise mitigate the emergency.
Components of AlertUSF may vary by campus and include:
- Homepage - Emergency messages will be broadcast to the USF institution’s homepage at the affected campus location(s). The website is the best place to receive the most thorough, accurate and up-to-date information during an emergency.
- Text Message - Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to sign-up to receive alerts through text message at USF-System campuses. For more information visit the Public Safety Resources page.
- Outdoor Notifications - Maintained independently at each campus, outdoor notifications provide strobe, tone, and loud voice messages audible by outdoor populations through speaker arrays.
- Indoor Notifications - Indoor notification is currently available only within select buildings on the Tampa and Sarasota-Manatee campuses. Contact your facilities manager for more information.
- Desktop Alerts - Desktop Alerts will appear on desktop computers that are maintained by USF IT and active when the messages are issued at each campus. If you encounter issues or do not receive Desktop Alerts on your USF desktop computer, contact IT at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Digital Displays - The Tampa Campus has integrated digital display boards across campus to broadcast emergency language to the displays.
- Alert Beacons - Designated rooms on the Tampa campus have installed Alert Beacons which provide tone, strobe, and text.
Additional methods that the University may use to communicate include:
- E-mail - E-mail may be used for on-going messaging but will not communicate emergency notifications.
- Social Media - Campus Twitter pages may be used to provide information about the emergency.
- Campus Safety Emergency Hotline - During extended events, recorded information and updates may be available by calling the appropriate Campus Safety Emergency Hotline.
Emergency Hotline Numbers
- USF Tampa: 1-800-992-4231
- USF St. Petersburg: (727) 873-4636
- USF Sarasota-Manatee: 1-800-992-4231
The University uses this spectrum of notification methods to reach large numbers of constituents as quickly and efficiently as possible. If an emergency affects only a segment of the campus community, a more limited warning may be issued. Continuing assessments of the situation and additional warnings will occur as appropriate.